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Desai & D, ELP, KhaitanCo pave $300m Piramal-IDFC-Canada road building JV

Buildin' roads together!
Buildin' roads together!

Desai & Diwanji advised the Ashok Piramal Group in its Rs 1250 crore to Rs 1500 crore ($250m to $300m) three-way joint venture (JV) with Canadian engineering group SNC-Lavalin, which was advised by Economic Laws Practice (ELP), and IDFC project equity’s investment fund India Infrastructure fund (IIF), which was advised by Khaitan & Co.

Desai & Diwanji Bombay partners Apurva Diwanji and associate partner Siddharth Mody with senior associate Sonal Rangnekar and associate Kate Bharucha, advised Ashok Piramal in its Rs 487.40 crore investment for a 51% stake in Piramal Roads Infra, the JV that will help the three participants develop, own, construct and operate public private partnership road and highway projects in India.

Khaitan & Co partner Vaishali Sharma and principal associate Niren Patel advised IIF, which according to VCCircle is a private sector infrastructure equity financer with an existing portfolio of seven road assets, alongside investments in the energy, ports and urban infrastructure sectors. In 2008, IDFC Project Equity, an IDFC subsidiary, raised the $930m India Infrastructure Fund to invest in ‘core’ infrastructure assets.

ELP partner Sujjain Talwar, associate partners Pranay Bhatia and Jeet Sengupta and associate Namrata Mehta advised SNC-Lavalin Mauritius which will be a 10% stakeholder in the JV, and is active in the infrastructure sector in India for more than 50 years.

According to the ET, over the next three to five years the JV hopes to fund road projects to the tune of $1bn. IDFC’s managing director, Aditya Aggarwal, told ET that they were willing to invest up to Rs 6000 – Rs 7000 crore in suitable projects.

Investors looking to tap the infrastructure opportunities have cause the Indian roads and highways space to explode with big private investment deals. The resultant overall infrastructure demand may cost India $1.7trn this decade, a report by Goldman Sachs cited by VCCircle stated. Of this, power and roads alone may require upwards of $700bn.

Roads and highways was the only promising sector, as proposals to build power plants, ports, airports and urban infrastructure face dilatory regulatory processes and a volatile stock market, reported the Financial Express.

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